First, thanks. I have really enjoyed the Dead Media Working Notes. I first dropped you an email after reading the speech in which you referenced the Intertek SuperBrain (if you think anyone may be interested, I have a 70 minute video I produced on how to diagnose, field strip and rebuild that machine), and I have really enjoyed the posts.
Re: VisiDep (Working Note 23.3). I knew Porter McLaurin very well while the troika were developing VisiDep. He was chairman of the Media Arts Department at USC (University of South Carolina) and my graduate advisor when I was a grad student there. I crewed on several VisiDep shoots.
I was kind of surprised when *Popular Mechanics* picked up the news release in 1983 and repeated it almost verbatim. McLaurin, Cathey and Jones always saw more in VisiDep than anyone else. What I saw was an unstable, switched video image that was more disorienting than anything else. The video rig used to shoot it looked like a deformed moose with two cameras on a jerry rigged quadra pod.
I thought then, and still believe, that the PM reporter had to make a deadline and never came close to actually seeing the VisiDep reality. He jazzed up a university Public Information Department news release and never looked at the technology. Kinda makes me wonder how much we can trust some other reports of technology from the popular/scientific media.
Stefan Jones was right in one speculation: VisiDep was a guaranteed headache generator. I think Bristol-Meyers- Squibb missed the boat by not licensing the technology as a marketing tool.
Rick Gregory (firstname.lastname@example.org)